English Dub Review: The Helpful Fox Senko-San “You Smell Like Another Fox”

Ever wish things could just be better?

Overview

Nakano’s back hurts and Senko offers to give him a massage. Complete with closeup shots of her feet, they make a prolonged, unnecessarily huge deal out of Senko stepping on Nakano before the massage. She does so, and his back is cured. Trying to deflect away from Senko poking fun at the sounds he made, he offers to give her a massage. He does, and makes fun of her noises, too.

Nakano goes to bed and has a dream about a mysterious figure (who looks and sounds like him) having lunch with Senko. He wakes up and goes to work — where he’s forced to redo everything he’d almost finished, due to a company setback. He stays late, misses the train home, and is encountered by Shiro, who offers to teleport him home (in exchange for some snacks.) As the pair walks through the teleportation gate, Shiro confesses to Nakano that she believes Senko only cares about him because he reminds her of his ancestor, who she also cared for. Nakano thinks on this for a bit but decides that as long as Senko is happy, that’s all he cares about.

He gets home, Senko teases him, and the two eat dinner.

Our Take

You ever watch an episode of something and just think to yourself, “Oh hey, the creator’s kink is in this episode”? Well, if you really squint, you’ll be able to tell that this was one of those episodes. They say you can tell a lot about an artist by what they draw. A lot.

To step back from the heckling for a moment, there’s something sad about The Helpful Fox Senko-San to reflect on: this show does have potential. Or did, at least, before they decided to make Senko and Shiro look…like that.

A vast majority of the show’s problems could be fixed if they simply made these mentally adult fox girls look like adults. These scenes where Nakano and Senko are giving each other massages would seem a lot more romantic and wholesome if she didn’t look…(what’s the word we’re looking for…12? Yeah, 12.) The show can’t morally push a romance with these two without it feeling icky. The last episode even acknowledged Senko as a “loli but legal,” which mean the writers know exactly what they’re doing. Which is, obviously, fucked up.

The killer is that there are a lot of things to like about the show that isn’t done in a ton of anime series. It’s cool that the character designs don’t fall into the same-face syndrome, and that some backgrounds look photo-realistic, and that the music/effects can be pretty enchanting. The quality of the show isn’t bad, but does this mean we can excuse the bad thing the show promotes?

All of these characters would be more likable if they weren’t part of some morally bankrupt concept. Senko wouldn’t look like a child slave (granted, even if she were older in appearance, there would still be the subservient-woman role issue — but that’s another problem.) Nakano would look less like a creep and more like the relatable, good-hearted character they’re trying to project. All these moments that are supposed to be heartwarming are robbed of its moving tone due to the moral ambiguity of the series.

The episode’s first-person POV post-credits short ended with Senko asking the viewer to make a wish. Maybe if we all collectively wish for a better show, it will happen.

Kayla Gleeson

Kayla Gleeson is an entertainment writer and media player, with work involved in shows such as Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" and Chicken Soup for the Soul's "Hidden Heroes." In addition to her work on BubbleBlabber, she also has dozens upon dozens of published articles for RockYou Media. Aside from immersing her life in cartoons, she loves to write and read poetry, be outdoors, go to conventions, and indulge in Alan Resnick stylings of comedy.

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